How to create the hook-a-doughnut resource
This resource can be kept to reuse again and again as your baby grows. My children, 4 and 6, now use ours like a hoopla - throwing the 'doughnuts' to see if they can land them on the 'hooks'.
These instructions are intended for adults. Please keep the scissors/craft knife out of reach of children. Ensure any hoops you make yourself are not large enough to fit over a child's head as they could pose a choking hazard.
You will need:
A large piece of cardboard (mine is approx. A2 size)
A collection of cardboard tubes (I used 5 kitchen roll tubes)
Sticky tape or brown parcel tape
Scissors or a craft knife
For the hoops:
Either reuse the hoops from a stacking toy if you have one, or make your own using:
Place your cardboard tubes upright on the cardboard and draw round them with a pencil.
Carefully cut out the circle shapes and poke the cardboard tube through the hole from the front of the board leaving at least 4 cm of tube on the other side. You can push the tubes through different amounts to make uneven hooks on the front. I trimmed two of my tubes to make them smaller.
When you're happy with the position of the tube, use scissors to cut slits in the short ends of the tubes as far as the cardboard sheet. Then fold the tabs out and stick down using sticky tape or parcel tape.
Repeat with all the other tubes.
If you want to, paint around each tube with a different colour. This will mean that as your baby gets older you can give instructions like "Put the hoop on the green" or "You've got two hoops on the blue!"
I made the circle shape by drawing around the roll of brown tape with a pencil and then painting the circle freehand.
Step Six - The Hoops (aka the Doughnuts)
You don't need to make all of these hoops, choose whichever you prefer.
1) Place a roll of brown tape onto a piece of cardboard, draw around it on the outside and inside and carefully cut out the hoops. You could paint them to colour coordinate with the backing board if you wanted so that the activity becomes a colour matching game too.
2) Use three pieces of thick string or garden twine, about 45 cm long and plait them together before tying in a knot.
3) Use three pipe cleaners, twist them together at one end, then plait, before forming into a circle shape and twisting closed.
4) Alternatively, buy or reuse commercially available hoops such as these.
When complete, use the resource propped up against a door with the hoops beside so your little one can sit and thread them on.
When they are confidently sitting try placing the doughnuts on both sides of their body so they are twisting and turning in both directions to pick them up.
Next, prop the resource on the seat of a chair so your child has to stand to access it. Place the hoops in a bowl on the floor so they have to bend and pick them up.
When your little one is walking, place the board flat on the ground and you sit with the hoops on the other side of the room. They have to walk to you to get a hoop then walk back to hook it on.
Repeat all the above with colour matching or by giving verbal instructions, e.g. "put the red hoop on the green hook". Increase the number of instructions as your child gets older, e.g. "put the red hoop on the green hook and the green hoop on the red hook."
For older children (and adults!) lay the hooks flat on the floor and try throwing the hoops. Start close and step back each time you're successful. Add numbers to the board and keep score.